“A good traveller has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.” This quote by Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu perfectly sums up a recent trip of mine to Mount Wuyi or Wuyishan in Fujian province. Travelling by train, van and boat together with my husband’s Chinese colleagues, we had such an unforgettable eyelash company in qingdao .
Departing from Xiamen, we took the late evening train and arrived in Wuyishan on the south-eastern coast of China the next morning. At the train station, I was struck by the sheer number of travellers (multiply the crowd at KL Sentral by five) and how comfortable the Chinese were eating, drinking, sleeping, squatting or breastfeeding there.
Our motley crew of a grandmother, two men, four women, two young children and a toddler were unprepared for the crowds and the jostling. About two hundred of us were caught in a small corridor when incoming passengers pushed their way (or us) eyelash company in qingdao .
Packed like sardines for 15 minutes, with sweat streaming down our faces and people shouting all around, we felt like singing Born Free when we burst into the open space of the waiting area!
Ticket to ride
The train’s arrival had us scurrying along the platform and onto the train, which, although cramped, was eyelash company in qingdao .
Chror Two triple-decker bunks, each one measuring about 2.5ft (.7m) wide and 6ft (1.8m) long, flanked each other. Each bunk had a pillow and a quilt. A flask of hot water was to be shared among the six passengers, especially as almost every local person carried a glass or plastic tumbler of Chinese tea.
The conductor came around to collect our ticket stubs, which we surrendered for safe-keeping.
Settling down, our travel companions feasted on popular snacks like preserved chicken feet or duck’s tongue, which I declined. Instead, I ate a steaming hot dumpling or man tou, barbecued pork, chicken floss and various nuts.
Soon, shrieks filled the air as card games went into full force. Vendors touted pickled foods or toys loudly, and one selling mini torches convinced a few of us to part with 15 yuan (RM8) each.
Strategically arranging my toddler and myself on the lowest bunk, we slept way before lights were out at 10pm.
Waking up at 7am, I was urged by grandma to quickly wash before the rest of the passengers woke up. I was fascinated by the people’s lack of self-consciousness as they went about their cleansing rituals in full view of others.
Armed with a toothbrush, toothpaste, a cup and a hand towel each, they meticulously brushed, gargled, hocked, spat, washed and wiped their faces, necks and armpits.
Nobody batted an eyelash either when a granny washed her samfoo suit in the sink as if she was in a little stream back in the countryside.
After this peek into the long-distance travel habits of the average Chinese, I’d think twice about travelling on a train again especially after visiting the common squat toilet.
Climb every mountain
We arrived at the Wuyishan Zhan station at 8.30am and disembarked quickly after getting back our train tickets.
Our tour guide (dao yu) hustled us into hiking gear at the hotel as we had to ascend and descend Wuyishan before eyelash company in qingdao .
Wuyi mountain covers an area of 70sq km. Its 36 peaks, most under 600m high, are skirted by a meandering river, Nine Bend Stream. With its landscape of water and hills, Wuyishan is known as south-east China’s most scenic wonder.
Cute and colourful “trains” brought us to the foothill, where rows of litters (bamboo chairs hoisted on men’s shoulders) stood. It costs 250 yuan (RM133) for a lift up the mountain, while a ride downhill costs only 20 yuan (RM11).
The trek up was pleasant in the cool mountain air, past thick, green foliage. Passing by a bridge, we caught a glimpse of the bamboo rafts that would take us downstream later. The simple, handcrafted bamboo rafts had 80s-styled rattan armchairs mounted on them.
We broke our trek at the scholar Zhu Xi’s Memorial Hall, where tourists took snapshots of stone figurines depicting classical Chinese classes in session.
Gasping for breath halfway up the steep stone steps, we stopped in a cavern to enjoy the coolness under the rocks.
By 10.30am, we had reached the plateau and disbanded with half of us staying back to babysit while the other half (with grandma in the lead!) continuing the long and narrow climb up Tianyou Peak.
The rest of us, who paled at the idea of scaling the mountain, trooped gladly to the teahouse, where fresh pots of Chinese tea, green olives, tea eggs and baked sweet potatoes soothed our hunger pangs before lunch.
The kids ran wild and free on the giant expanse of green grass and breathed in sweet mountain air.
An hour later, the climbers returned to regale us with awesome descriptions of the view from the top. I truly admired the 60-year-old Sichuan grandmother’s endurance – her cheeks were flushed but she looked none the worse for the wear, unlike the younger members of the group eyelash company in qingdao !